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November 1989

Early Diagnosis of Spastic Diplegia, Spastic Hemiplegia, and Quadriplegia

Author Affiliations

From the Physical Therapy Program, University of Wisconsin, Madison. This research was conducted while the author was a Mary E. Switzer Fellow of the National Institute of Handicapped Research, US Department of Education, Washington, DC. Dr Harris is now in private practice as a physical therapy consultant.

Am J Dis Child. 1989;143(11):1356-1360. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150230114038

• A retrospective study examined early neurodevelopmental behaviors of children with spastic diplegia, spastic hemiplegia, and quadriplegia (spastic, athetoid, or mixed) who had been followed up longitudinally in a high-risk infant followup clinic. Compared with peers with normal outcomes, children with all three types of cerebral palsy had significantly lower scores on the Bayley Mental Scale at 4 months of age; children with hemiplegia and quadriplegia also scored significantly lower on the Bayley Motor Scale. On the Movement Assessment of Infants at 4 months of age, the children with hemiplegia and quadriplegia showed significantly higher risk scores than the nonhandicapped group. The Movement Assessment of Infants was more than three times as sensitive as the Bayley Motor Scale in detecting motor abnormalities in 4-month-old infants with diplegia and more than twice as sensitive in detecting early abnormalities of hemiplegia. At 1 year of age, however, the Bayley Motor Scale was extremely sensitive in picking up motor deficits in children with all three types of cerebral palsy.

(AJDC. 1989;143:1356-1360)